Review Blog

May 15 2018

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

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Pan MacMillan, 2018. ISBN 9781760555504
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Fantasy. The Queen is dead, the people have been enslaved, and princess Theodosia might as well be too. Confined to a pretty jail and watched constantly by three men, her shadows, since the castle was taken ten years before, Theodosia is now the obedient Lady Thora, and bears plenty of reminders to remain so. With every move of the resistance comes fresh pain and the familiar itch of skin knitting itself back together. She is an expert at surviving. When Ampelio is captured, everything changes. The man is familiar, and while Thora tries to ignore them, Theodosia's memories return. This man, who speaks hastily in Astrean, a language which has long since been forbidden, is her father. Unable to stay quiet, Thora mis-steps, speaking out in Ampelio's defence. The Kaiser, being a cruel man, rewards this disobedience not with a whip, as Thora expects, but with charging her with the execution. As the life floods from Ampelio she must decide whether surviving in this alien world is enough.
As the spark of rebellion grows into a flame, Thora/Theodosia is joined by three renegades who have replaced her shadows. Of the three, one is a childhood friend, Blaise, who is determined to see her safely away. But Theodosia is not finished. She can't leave without any retribution. Quickly, a plan is hatched to kill the Kaiser's right-hand man, the Theyn, and Prinz Soren. But will Theodosia be able to commit such cold acts when these are people she has been raised to admire? Can she, a young woman, rid Astrea of it's invaders?
While slow in places, the novel is overall a fun read. Recommended for fans of adventure fantasy twelve and up. Kayla Gaskell, 22

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